Accurate mathematical models of aerodynamic properties play an important role in the aerospace field. In some cases, system parameters of an aircraft can be estimated reliably only via flight tests. In order to obtain meaningful experimental data, the aircraft dynamics need to be excited via suitable maneuvers. In this paper, optimal maneuvers are obtained for an autonomous aircraft by solving a time domain model-based optimum experimental design problem that aims to obtain more accurate parameter estimates while enforcing safety constraints. The optimized inputs are compared with respect to conventional maneuvers widely used in the aerospace field and tested within real experiments.